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KIRK HAMMETT Was "Pretty Shocked" METALLICA Let Him Do A Solo Project

"Our band has not had a lot of great progress with band members going solo."

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Metallica has a reputation for not being too stoked on band members having their own solo projects. Look no further than ex-bassist Jason Newsted and his band Echobrain, which Metallica frontman James Hetfield famously compared to "cheating on your wife" after saying "when someone does a side project, it takes away from the strength of Metallica." Of course, Newsted called Hetfield out over his contributions to the South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut movie and two Corrosion of Conformity albums. To which Hetfield replied in a 2001 interview "My name isn't on those records. And I'm not out trying to sell them."

So it's a little surprising that Hammett just released his new solo EP Portals and clearly there was no issue. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Hammett said he was surprised the band supported his solo endeavor and is proud of Metallica's progress as people over the years. He also mentioned the Newsted/Hetfield spat, saying "all that went down almost 20 years ago."

"I was also pretty shocked that I got the complete band's blessings on it. It was amazing because our band has not had a lot of great progress with band members going solo, as everyone knows. But all that went down almost 20 years ago, and we're such different people now. We're all just older, wiser, and more mature…

"Well, I don't know if we're wiser, but we're definitely older, and a little bit more mature, a little bit more responsible. So something like this takes on a different sort of meaning now than it would have 20 years ago."

Portals is four songs long, with two of its four songs being co-written by S&M2 conductor Edwin Outwater. Portals also features drummers Jon Theodore (Kirk's fellow Wedding Band member) and Abraham Laboriel, Greg Fidelman on bass, Emmy-winning arranger Blake Neely, and Bob Rock.

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